Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Oatmeal Bars

This recipe makes a great snack for breakfast, lunch, or at school.  You can add different ingredients depending on what you like, and it's super easy. 

1 1/2 cups oats
1/2 cup gluten free flour mix (I use Namaste Perfect Flour Blend)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon

Then add:
1 egg, beaten
3 tbsp melted coconut oil
1 cup milk or coconut milk
Your choice:  dried fruit (raisins, or cranberries, or blueberries, or all of them!), chocolate chips, shredded coconut, sunflower or pumpkin seeds are just a few of my favourite choices.

Pour batter into parchment lined baking pan.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until done. 

Gluten Free Chocolate Zucchini Bread

This chocolate zucchini bread tastes like moist chocolate cake!  In fact I will use this recipe for my son's next birthday (he has already requested it!).

This recipe is NOT nut free!

In food processor, process dry ingredients:
1 cup almond flour
1/2 cup gluten free flour mix (I have been using Namaste Perfect Flour Blend)
1/4 cup cacao powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

Remove dry ingredients, and process wet ingredients:
2 large eggs
2 tbsp coconut oil
1/4 cup raw honey
1/4 tsp stevia
3/4 cup grated zucchini

Add dry ingredients to processor and pulse until combined.  Pour into greased and floured loaf pan.  Bake for 35-40 minutes at 350, cool in pan for 2 hours.  I usually use a medium sized zucchini which gives me enough for a double batch, so I make two loaves at once doubling the above amounts.

Sooooo chocolatey and moist!

Gluten Free Apple Oatmeal Muffins

Yesterday my mother in law showed up with a giant bag of honey crisp apples and I needed something to do with them.  Apple muffins!

I made these yesterday, again taking an ordinary recipe I found off the internet and substituting certain ingredients to make it gluten free.  These turned out amazing!!  I will be making them again for sure.

These muffins ARE nut free!  Also, I tripled this recipe to make a huge batch.

Process dry ingredients:
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup gluten free flour mix (I have been using Namaste Perfect Flour Blend)
1 1/4 cups oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon

Remove dry ingredients from processor, then add and process wet ingredients:
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp melted coconut oil
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla

Combine dry and wet ingredients.  Fold in 2 chopped apples.  Fill muffin cups 3/4 full.  Bake for 18-20 minutes at 375.  The above amounts would make about a dozen muffins, I tripled it and got two dozen regular muffins and two dozen mini muffins.  Perfect for breakfasts, and for school snacks!

Amazing Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

For this recipe I simply googled a standard chocolate chip recipe and then tweaked it to make it gluten free.  I love playing with recipes and making them my own.  This one turned out absolutely amazing, with even a cookie dough worthy of licking the bowl!

I use my food processor for pretty much every recipe now because I am always experimenting with different flour/dry ingredient mixes.

This recipe IS nut free so it is perfect for school lunches!

In food processor, process the dry ingredients:
2 cups gluten free flour mix (I have been using Namaste Perfect Flour Blend with great results)
1 cup oats
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup ground chia
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon

With a mixer, combine:
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter
Then add:
2 large eggs
1 tbsp vanilla

Add dry ingredients to mixing bowl and combine.  Stir in 1 cup chocolate chips.  Roll into 1 1/4" balls and place 2" apart on baking sheet, flatten slightly.  Bake for 12-14 miutes at 350.  Makes 4-5 dozen depending on size.


The Best Gluten Free Banana Bread

I finally have something I feel like posting about - FOOD!  I even briefly considered starting a new blog to share recipes but then decided against it since I've already started 4 blogs and that is enough.  This one will do fine.

Baking has been something I've always enjoyed but haven't done that much of it since having kids, mainly due to not having time and not wanting to make a mess.  I mean I did bake from time to time, but wouldn't say I was a weekly baker.  That is not until recently.  With both boys starting school full time I decided I wanted to try and make lots of baked good we can use for breakfasts, lunches, and snacks.  I was tired of constantly buying store bought cookies, cereal bars, and other snacks.  Plus I also have a wicked sweet tooth of my own, so I figured if we're all going to be eating 'treats' then I might as well be making them, and trying to make them as healthy as a baked treat could be.

My first challenge is making gluten free stuff.  My second challenge is also making much of it nut free so the kids can take it to school.  This was especially hard since my main go to for gf baking was almond flour.  I still use nut flours and butters for the treats we eat at home, but needed some nut free option for school snacks as well. 

I'm going to post my successful recipes here (individually so they're easy to search for again), starting with this gluten free banana bread recipe that I have been working on.  Not to toot my own horn or anything, but it is pretty awesome.

(This recipe is NOT nut free)

In a food processor, process dry ingredients:
1 cup almond flour
1/2 cup gluten free flour mix (I have been using Namaste Perfect Flour Blend with great results)
1 tsp each - cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder
1/4 cup cacao nibs
3 tbsp chia or hemp hearts

Remove dry ingredients from processor, then process wet ingredients:
4 bananas
1/2 cup nut butter
4 eggs
4 tbsp coconut oil
4 tbsp raw honey
1tsp vanilla

Mix dry and wet ingredients together.  Add chocolate chips if desired.
Originally I was making this recipe in my cast iron skillet, but most recently I doubled the recipe and put it in two standard bread pans (greased and floured).  When using my skillet I baked for 45 minutes at 350.  When I made it last I accidently turned the oven off at some point and had to turn it back on again, so I'm not 100% sure how long they needed to be baked for but I would start with 45 minutes and check them, then bake for longer if needed.

I tend to be experimental with my baking so it's hard to write down exact recipes, but this is the gist of it.  I have also played around with converting this recipe into a gf carrot cake one, using a similar format as above but substituting shredded carrots instead of bananas, and applesauce instead of nut butter (and omitting the cacao nibs and chocolate chips of course, plus adding extra spices).  It still needs a bit of tweaking but it did taste good!


Saturday, 29 March 2014

Why Don't I Post Here Anymore?

Oh yeah, it's because life is crazy busy and I keep starting blogs I can't keep up with.  But I've just been browsing through this one, and I'm thinking about posting more.  We'll see.  Keeping up with blogs are a lot of work, and I'm not a big fan working hard.  (Working hard or hardly working?  Yep, that's me).  Maybe I'll come up with an idea for a new post soon.
And I've always wondered why, here on Blogger, when I click spellcheck it always flags 'blog/blogs' as misspelled.  That is so weird.

Friday, 7 June 2013


I'm still reading.  Ever since starting up again last fall I always have a book on the go.  I don't always read them as fast as I'd like since I don't have much time, but I try to read a little bit every night before bed.  This means that I get less sleep and am pretty tired, but it's worth it to have that little bit of escape.
So the last time I posted about reading, I was just getting through The Kitchen House, which was as I suspected very sad and disturbing but a good read.  Not my kind of book but I did find it hard to put down. 
After I finished that I read The Book of Negroes, which was a bit slower but I did really enjoy the story.  Many sad parts as well but it was rather uplifting and it was a good book.  It was interesting to read the history that went along with it, and the main character though she suffered many hardships, was so likeable and her courage was inspiring.
Then onto The Help which was highly recommended by my friends and it was an excellent book.  I can see why it was made into a movie (Academy Award Winning at that).  I haven't actually watched the movie yet (I saw the first little bit at our 'girl's movie night', but had to leave because Lily woke up and I had to go home!), but I would like to finish watching it some time.  It was a great book, it touched on some very serious issues but in a rather comedic way.  The characters were fantastic.  I would recommend it to others.
I think the next one I read after that was Life of Pi.  It is not a new book and I had heard of it but didn't know what it was about.  Then I saw a trailer for the movie which had just come out, and I really wanted to see it but not until I read the book.  Another friend had said it was amazing, so I ran out and bought it, and it really was amazing.  I loved it.  It wasn't even that it was particularly gripping, but the main character, Pi was so fascinating and it was such a cool story which a twist at the end.  The very night I finished the book we watched the movie and I was happy with how it was adapted to the big screen.  I felt the movie did the book justice and was just as powerful and moving.  I think I would put Life of Pi right up there with some of my favourite books.
Finally we got our book club started, and the first book we read as a group was The Paris Wife.  It was a work of fiction based on Ernest Hemingway's first marriage to a woman named Hadley.  It basically followed their whirlwind romance, marriage, and time together in Paris.  It was good, and very sad because it shows their decline as Hemingway becomes more engrossed in his budding career and less interested in the relationship with his wife.  I was so sad for her as she learns of his infidelity and the way he treats her after that.  Even though the book was fiction, all the characters and events really did happen and I found myself a little bit obsessed with Ernest Hemingway after reading it.  My heart broke for Hadley and what she had to go through, but in the end she came out of it stronger and had a wonderful life so that made having to read her heartache worth it.
In between book club books I read another Margaret Atwood book called Life Before Man.  It was actually one of her works from the seventies and I picked it up at the local book store.  I don't know why I chose that one, I guess because I had like the other book written by her that I had read.  This one was ok.  It wasn't gripping, or fascinating, or particularly anything really, but it did portray a very real story about three people in a love triangle and what they were feeling while going through it all.  I didn't think it was horrible but I wouldn't recommend it.
Our second book club book was In Between Oceans and it was another heart wrenching story, this time about a lighthouse keeper and his wife who suffer the loss of several children (two miscarriages and a stillborn), and then one day find a baby alive in a boat that washes up on their island, and against better judgement decide to keep her as their own.  They discover their choice had devastating consequences when the child's real mother was in fact alive, and throughout the story must make the decision to return the child after raising her as their own for 4 years.  This book was very hard to read as a mother, both for the adopted mother (who suffered so many losses) and the real mother (who believed her child to be dead).  It was so sad but it was a beautiful story, and I could appreciate it very much. 
So many books that I have read have been so hard to read and have been so depressing in many ways.  I wouldn't normally choose books like this for myself, I tend to like to read things that are so far from reality that I can't identify with the emotions.  It's just easier that way.  That is why I like fantasy and sci-fi.  But I am happy that I have branched out and read more of this kind of literature.
However now I feel like I need a break from the intense stuff and so I have started the Harry Potter books, something that I have wanted to read for awhile and I know I will love.  I love the movies and I know the books will be great too.  I have read the Philosopher's Stone already and enjoyed it.  It was a very easy read (obviously since the books are for children and young adults) and pretty much exactly like the movie (or should I say they did a wonderful job making the movies exactly like the book).  I really like getting into these books because it makes me feel like I am watching the movies all over again.  I can't wait to start the next one.
I think I will continue with the book club selections in between reading the Harry Potter books, just to keep up with the girls.  Though we haven't picked out our next book yet.
Once again I am so glad I have rediscovered a love of reading, and am a regular bookworm these days!